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Impregnator Kings/Witch of Fecundity Chat Thread aristocrat 06/22/2022 (Wed) 10:05:02 Id:414a93 No. 36
Hello everyone. I hope everyone has made the 'jump' so to speak from pregchan to 'new' pregchan. Things are changing. We now have a board separate from /d/ where both stories can be posted, with images! We now don't have to worry (so much) about being forced off of the /d/ board and losing past threads. That said, I ask that everyone continue to use this thread for elaborate planning and emotional reactions to the story. Experience has taught me having a place for that separate from the actual story thread is the best way to handle things. Less pressure on the thread limit, and more space for people to vote calmly. Actual new threads for both Impregnator Kings and Witch of Fecundity will arrive soon. Though Impregnator Kings was a bit in a weird spot when the site went down, so I will need to decide the best way to approach that before officially reviving the thread. In the meantime, Witch of Fecundity ended on a vote in progress. "Choice time: >Learn the red truth. It sounds neat. >Learn the Pax Bernkastel invocation. It sounds like you really should know it. >Learn the truth behind the Bernkastel-Lambdadelta conflict. Or at least, Erika's version." Three votes were tallied: one for option 1. Two for option 3. If anyone else wishes to vote, please do so here before I revive WoF. Murble, CallMeLufcifer, and Shadow have had their votes counted. At any rate, it is good to have a board dedicated to stories and I look forward to using it. I hope it's enjoyable.
I found this story while looking for some quick stuff to get off to sometimes early this year and ended up way too invested in the story. My comment is: holyshit this has been going for nearly 8 years? I've reached the beginning of thread 15 so I can't really participate in discussions yet but what I want to say this thank you Aristo for this unexpectedly great story.
>>1974 Thank you very much. This is the exact sort of thing I wonder if it ever happens, and I love hearing it does. It's thanks to the internet archive we're able to maintain a record like this. Please, when you feel like using your one vote and contributing to the discussion, I urge you to do so. It's because of listening to audience wants that the story has been able to take on the life it has. (For example: Mania came into existence as a character because of a request in the chat thread.)
Hello, everyone. Well, there it is. A line has been crossed. I found an AI art site and used it for the latest update reference picture. Reactions? Are people glad I can give them more reference images? Angry for using AI art at all? Don't care? As much as I'd like to have an artist who could draw every scene, that would never realistically happen. But I could use AI for IK. Even for little "nothing" updates like this one. I could possibly even create original character art this way and not rely on fanart of existing characters. That, if nothing else, could work better for putting a face on Edwys, for example. (I specifically avoid giving Edward a face because men don't get portraits in IK, and I'd like to think everyone has some freedom to self-insert themselves.) Anyway, I know AI art is controversial. I'd appreciate knowing everyone's thoughts.
>>2026 > Are people glad I can give them more reference images? Yes. Very much. I was actually hoping for that for a few months now while I've been watching AI-image generation get better and better even for very specific scenarios. > Angry for using AI art at all? Don't care? Don't care. I recognized it as probably AI-generated right away, but in my book that's in the same category as "well this artist has a certain style how they draw faces" I like the flexibility that AI-generated images give and would very much like more images. Especially for the sex-scenes with our pregnant ladies. > Anyway, I know AI art is controversial. I'd appreciate knowing everyone's thoughts. I fully understand the controversy around not paying the original human artists that this brings with it. I am sympathetic with it. I fully support paying artists their fair share. I just don't think that not using AI-image generation is the right conclusion to draw from that. It is too amazing a tool for that.
>>2026 I'm not wild about AI images, but it's not a deal breaker either. If this was a new quest I'd probably be a good deal more wary of it, but over the years you've proven your dedication to this, so I feel like I can trust you to use these images without getting crazy or sloppy. Hopefully we don't end up with any thirteen finger abominations turning up, lol.
To an extent, I can totally understand using AI if a good existing image doesn't already exist (if I had any idea how to make decent use of it, I wouldn't have to resort to the ever-congested drawthread to try to get anything for my OCs, or at the very least I'd have something to use as an example image instead of trying to piece random things together). As long as it isn't actually hurting anyone and the art looks decent enough, don't care.
>>2026 I’m not super enthused about AI art and would prefer traditional art to look at with every update. I would be against the use of AI art if this was an art based cyoa. But since this cyoa is text based and the art is only supplemental to the story, AI art is fine if used sparingly. Like how others in this thread have already expressed, I trust you enough to defer to your judgement when to use and when not to use AI art for each update.
I'm not particularly phased by AI art. Conceptually, I don't like it. Especially for commercial use. But in regards to its use here in the story... I find it innocuous. I even like having art for scenes that wouldn't normally have them. I would obviously abide the majority here, but it just doesn't feel that transgressive to me.
>>2028 Follow-up on my post here: I'd still rather see human-made art over AI when possible, but when the AI can provide an image that an artist hasn't made yet, that's fine by me.
Putting aside the controversy of how the AI was trained, I'm okay with it. Not thrilled- AI art looks pretty samey to me- but I respect the fact that you want to add more to your posts without scrolling through pages upon pages of images to find what you want. I agree that I'd rather see human art over AI, but for the sake of your sanity and all the work you put into this story, I'm okay with it.
AI art is nothing but bigoted art theft. I don't like any aspect of it, particularly since I want to be a writer and writers are already being stolen from. But it's not as if we can stop you.
All right. An informal summation is that a few people are just grateful for me to have images to work with. A few don't care. A few think it's bad but are okay if I use it because IK has been going on so long and it's clear I don't try to pass it off as "my own." And a few categorically hate it. This sort of poll is definitely not a "majority rules" situation but a "what answer can satisfy with a compromise?" So, here's my situation and my idea: 1. I was playing with the idea of using AI art for every little scene, even if it was 'meet X person in hallway', because then I could match emotions to faces too, but I think this is overkill. So, no to that. 2. If a character is popular (that is, not necessarily popular in IK, but popular universally and gets a lot of fanart), and it's easy to find art, I will use that. Unless it's to show them at a certain stage of pregnancy I just can't find. 3. If a character I chose to depict in the story is just so niche I can barely find art of them, I will use AI to fill the gap. This happens a lot because when I am writing and looking for art to use, I think of good characters to fit the 'feeling' I want the character in the story to evoke. I don't really worry about whether they actually have a ton of art to work with. I'm pretty sure there's not one image of Beatrice done pregnant. Noi also would be rare. Rosette will also fit this if she is ever successfully pursued. Finally there's Venti, who is just a rare case because there isn't a lot of gender-change art for her. So, right now, we will def. see Venti's model again because that's just too convenient, especially when she gets pregnant. Models for Beatrice, Rosette, and Noi may pop up too. But, I will try to use non-AI art as I can. This is never a "I don't want to sift through images," situation. I never mind doing that. This is more of a "I've sifted through everything and there's not even one morsel" situation. I still would rather use traditional art, so I will go with that if I can find it.
>>2037 Probably the best approach. And I respect you soliciting our opinions rather than just making the call yourself. It is seen and appreciated.
>>2037 >>2038 I agree with BD, and I sympathize with searching for something so long and coming up with nothing. Thanks again for including us as part of the process.
This is doable. Thank you.
The recent scare reminded me how special the story (and the site hosting it) really is. "Famous last words," but I'm going to try to come back to more regular updates.
>>2090 Whatever you can do, we appreciate.
>>2090 Hell yeah my dude. I'm sure I'm not the only one with everything backed up as text in case of total site fubar. This is something truly irreplaceable.
Thank you so much. Obviously "regular updates" became a little lax, but it's wonderful to hear people are invested in the story enough to want to preserve it. I can also be reached at aristocrat-mae on DA if necessary, for those who didn't know.
I just want to take a quick informal poll. This is not to continue the arguments in the thread since the vote has been called. But, I had previously explained circumstances in which Edward could experience a love confession, and asked openly if anyone could think of a character that would do so. Did anyone anticipate this meeting with Noi building to the current love choice vote? Just to wonder. At any rate, thank you all for voting. That was wonderful to see so many participants voting. And also to see the pendulum swing, which is always very fascinating to see when it does happen. At any rate, the story will continue with its next update soon. I hope it's enjoyable.
>>2195 A response to this, and a couple final thoughts on the romance votes- not trying to necessarily continue any arguments, just getting words on paper as it were. I'll probably come back and revise this as I think on it more, but wanted to get it out before I leave for work. First, to answer your question, aristo: No, didn't see this coming at all. Noi was not on my radar for a potential confession. Also didn't expect the vote to go that way, just didn't personally see enough development between Ed and Noi to justify it on his part- could see it eventually getting there, maybe, but that's not the way this game plays, what with it being a yes/no forever kind of deal. Second, to respond to Murble's last post before the vote was closed: you make an excellent argument for why Noi loves Ed, and I totally get that. I just don't agree with your conclusion that it means Ed should love Noi. You absolutely hit the nail on the head for my reasoning for voting against this: it's denying Ed his own agency in favor of avoiding a worst case scenario for Noi that I don't think would have happened even if we'd said we don't love her. Like, the argument of "we should love Noi because she's had a bad life up til now and if we don't, the only other option is letting Robin have her way with her as breeding stock" just doesn't hold water for me. Finally, a more general thought on the romance choices we've had so far and ones I anticipate in the future: not to sound alarmist or paranoid, but I have to wonder, assuming voting trends continue and love confessions continue to be accepted, if we don't end up tying ourselves up in knots of having our decisions made for us or being caught in impossible dilemmas. We already had one minor instance where we weren't able to respond the way some of us would have wanted to in the council meeting because of the Mania choice, and while I don't really foresee any huge issues stemming from either of our current love mistresses, the more of these we take on, the more obligations we're assuming and the more choices we're going to have locked in or locked out based on that. To be clear, I'm not arguing against there being future love confessions, nor am I arguing that all votes on future love confessions should be 'no'- hell, there's a couple girls I'd vote yes on for sure. I'm just pointing out a potential future issue. Just my two cents, feel free to ignore.
>>2198 >>2195 I also didn't see the Noi confession coming, and I share in BD's concerns. While it's nice to try and love everyone, it doesn't feel practical or realistic to me. Yes, I know, it's a fantasy, put realism aside, but for me, it stretches my immersion/suspension of disbelief. I wouldn't be surprised if Edward had received similar confessions back in Virillia and turned them down back then because he had to. He doesn't have to now, but I imagine it's something he's capable of doing. I don't want us to become people-pleasers at the cost of our agency.
Thank you very much for the feed back. Noi's confession I tried to allude to with his post. >>1488 Noi had opened up about her past, Edward validated her as a human being by rushing up on the stage for her, and she repaid it by in her heart of hearts, knowing there was a limit to who Edward would take to bed when everyone was assuming the opposite. (About Margaret.) Edward himself did show a little bit of his vulnerable side to Noi as well, but not as much as Mania. Or even Tharja, at that point. To answer the point of why Edward hasn't fallen in love before at Virilia, I think the best explanation is he didn't have time. (He was 'busy' impregnating a lot of women. Including the matchmaker, who was the last woman he met.) That, and any woman who was confessing their love to him were probably doing it for the wrong reasons. Go all the way back to when Edward has first had sex with Elizabeth. She's soon asking him "When will we be married?" and "What if Tharja dies, then can we be married?" That is, girls who (for different reasons) may have thought sleeping with Edward automatically meant they'd get to be aristocrats, too. Or that the sex meant being married was a formality. Or, any other reason. Keep in mind too that an Edward in Virilia had probably never experienced real hardship. The journey to Ruhemania was easily the most trouble he ever had to deal with at that point in his life. Especially being marched around with the mercenaries. It gave him the chance to pause, and realize being there, with Tharja, had meaning. Incidentally, BD, I'm not sure which choice you're referring to. The only thing regarding the council meeting was that Edward invited Mania to sit on it automatically. The actual suggestions she made were not automatically decided. (And the others more or less accepted her legitimacy as an advisor after a few rounds where she was allowed to speak.) At any rate, update coming soon.
>>2285 I must be misremembering, then.
Hello everyone. If you can believe it, we passed the eighth year anniversary of the start of Impregnator Kings. It's been a wild ride and I'm happy to have been writing it with you. We were only a few days and eight years from picking Tharja as the bride, all the way back in Virilia, thread #1! Which is why I want to make a... prediction. I hesitate to call it an announcement. I've done some internal math, evaluation, and I predict that, barring myself having a slump that leads to me simply spacing updates out too far, or unplanned for shenanigans emerging, we may in fact finish Tharja's story by the end of this year. This means a complete telling of Edward's story with Tharja. From Virilia to Edward's actual passing. Possibly. But, that will not be the end of Impregnator Kings. I fully intend to come back and write the New Game+, if others are willing to come along with me. It will depend on you, the audience. The story would die without readers and votes. (Apologies also for so many 'no vote' updates recently. That will change soon as we get back to plot choices and not sex choices.) I also want to stress that the one-year prediction means it might not be true if the story goes off on a direction I simply didn't anticipate. This is a good thing. You have taken this story places I would never have been able to take it on its own, and the story has been better for it. Please, do not at all take this to mean I want lower engagement or less write-ins. At any rate, it is my new year's resolution to come back to this faster. To give Impregnator Kings more 'love'. I can only hope you're here with me. I hope it's enjoyable. PS: Oh, one last note. Before the New Game+, I'll have a session where everyone can ask "what would have happened if X choice had been made?" I'm curious if anyone's interested. But, I know what would've happened and I'm keeping it a secret until there's no reason to do so anymore.
>>2623 While I haven't participated in the game, I as a writer do want to give congratulations where it's due and say that's really something to be proud of, that you could keep a story going that long (even with breaks interspersed) and you're still enjoying it, as are its fans.
>>2623 It was a wild ride, wasn't it? I'll be reading along. If it takes one year or another eight. Thank you for all your hard work and Merry Christmas, aristo.
>>2623 First: Holy crap, it's been eight years? Wow. Most shows don't last that long. So much has happened in that time. But my appreciation to you and to all the readers/players that have stuck around that long. Second: Wow again! I didn't think we were closing in on a conclusion. It'll be very interesting to see how things play out over the next year. And I'm very glad to hear you still intend to proceed with NG+. Finally: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!
>>2623 I have to echo Shadow in surprise at the year prediction. Feels like there's a lot to do in the next twelve months! It's a bit bittersweet to hear, honestly. The NG+ is intriguing, but knowing that it would be IK with almost none of the characters we know aside from Ed is a bit sobering. I trust you, though, and I'll stick with it and you to see what else comes. Still some threads in our Tharja run I want to see resolved, but a year should give us time to get to them. Thanks again for eight years of fun and drama, and here's to a great year nine and potential finale to this run. Happy Holidays!
>>2623 It's been that long, eh? Cheers, Aristo, and Merry Christmas!
Question, Aristo. Is the "Sully's going to be a peasant" line in the latest update intended to be the end of this line of thinking, or simply an indication that the military is a dead end for a solution and we need to consider other avenues?
>>2647 I'm not sure what you mean by "solution". What is the problem?
>>2648 Apologies, should have been clearer. I was typing that up on my phone this morning. I see Sully's current situation (potentially brain damaged and having no role in the castle) as a problem that I'd like Ed to solve. I wanted to bring her up to Robin to see if the general had any thoughts, and I'm still hoping to find some way for her to stay part of Ed's life- some other role in the castle. So I was wondering if that line from Ed about Sully being a peasant was indicative that Edward is resigned to her leaving the castle, or if there was still room for us to pursue other options.
>>2649 Should have reread this before I hit reply. To be clear, the thing I want to help her with is finding her something to do that isn't "leave the castle forever", not the traumatic brain injury.
>>2650 She hasn't left the castle forever. She's just in the peasant settlement. Tharja (who has their relationship) or possibly Mania (who lives with the peasants) could reasonably go get her for Edward. Edward could even just walk in, if he really wanted to. Though, that would either make a big scene, or he'd need a disguise. But, apologies for Sully fans and those who got attached to her, but given the events and her background, it just doesn't make sense in the context of the story to alter her role back to something Edward would encounter every day. (She's not an aristocrat, she has no special skill, she's not even literate, etc.) I hesitate to ever say "that won't work," but life went on for all of the people inside of the castle while Edward was in his recovery. With how Sully was, it's the logical way it turned out. Though like all girls, there'll be ways to meet her through choices, but for a character like Sully who're relatively removed from being important to Edward and his day to day activities, I'd rather keep it to milestones like "everyone's nine-ten months now" or "everyone's giving birth" or "Edward has the opportunity to impregnate them again."
>>2652 I understand where you're coming from, but that's rather disappointing.
>>2654 I'm really sorry about this. I don't want to say "there's certain characters who are meant to be side characters, at best," because sometimes I'm absolutely shocked at where they go. Mania, for example, turned from a character who was introduced because there was a request for a character who was already showing and late into her pregnancy into a full main character, with a purpose. But characters for example like "the woman pirate girl from Edward's dream sequence back in thread #1," well, there was no bringing her back. (As a side note, any character Edward grows to love is going to become a 'main' character, if she's not already. Perhaps that wasn't clear. At the very least, that's why Noi is suddenly being promoted to a position she has good reason to be in Edward's presence. One which also makes sense within the context of the story, plot, and characters.) But, if I could ask, and I mean this with respect, but why did Sully become liked? As I say, you all write the story with me, and no matter how many years pass by or even if it's the same story, we're always learning, but sometimes it's hard to predict audience expectations. Was it her circumstance? A specific scene? The first impression? A certain character characteristic that was appealing? Or... did it come down to I used a popular fire emblem character as the "avatar," so to speak? (I said this back in our first chat thread, but when choosing 'avatars,' I try to make the character somewhat suitable for what I'm going for. As well as have some pregnancy artwork around them. But at the same time, they have their own separate personalities, backstories, etc. that will not 'mesh'. Elizabeth and Margaret are less persona characters and more "sisters Maid1 and Maid2," for example, as strange as that would be to say.) At any rate, thank you for the feedback. I always appreciate it. I hope this update schedule will continue. I'm attempting to have one at least once a day again, even if it's only a few sentences. I hope it's enjoyable.
>>2660 I can only speak for myself, of course, but I've been fond of Sully for quite some time. She's been in the story for longer than most of the women Edward has needed, and she was a friendly face in the castle when we didn't have many of those- one of the closest Ed had to a friend for awhile, aside from Ricardo and Tharja (and maybe Elizabeth, though the power dynamics and subservience on her part change that a bit). Full disclosure, that's said with the benefit and probably through a pair of rose-tinted nostalgia goggles. Honestly, Sully's one of the girls that would have made sense to me for Ed to fall for over the (to me) quicker and more unexpected romances with Mania and Noi. Sully started out as a mentally and emotionally strong character- headstrong, even- and I respected that. I couldn't point to an exact scene or moment where I said "ah yes, Sully good, Sully should remain important", but I like her and wish she hadn't gone by the wayside like this. I'm typing this from my phone and it's early morning here, so I imagine I'll come back to this and add more. Let me say this, though: I trust you, Aristo, and while we write it together, you do the lion's share of the work. I don't like this particular development, and I'm telling you all this because there's no way you could know my thoughts otherwise. I hope I'm not the only one who feels this way, either about Sully or about the story.
>>2661 "That's said with the benefit" of hindsight. Didn't finish that thought properly. And to better explain the "made sense" bit on the romance, just more that he spent more time with Sully, IIRC. Knew her longer than she knew Mania and Noi when the love votes came. Then again, the Tharja love vote was very early in the quest too.
May I avoid swallowing my foot while putting my two cents in, but I understand both sides. I also feel like the romances with Mania and Noi were unexpected and fast (but maybe that's because I'm not attracted to Hex Maniac or muscle women), and I liked Sully being 'one of the boys' in a few senses of that phrase. But on the other hand, it just wouldn't be practical for all of the girls to get a lot of attention all the time. We can't keep romances And spending time with women we've impregnated And looking for new women to impregnate And be a proper king. There aren't enough hours in the day. The tribe has spoken, and Ed's attention has been narrowed a little. Aristo's logic also makes sense. I'm a little bummed she won't be around as much, but we don't have a good reason to keep her around. I'm glad that we're a bunch of bleeding hearts and hopeless romantics, but our hearts go in different directions.
>>2661 ...women Edward has bedded, not needed. >>2663 It's a fair assessment. Guess I would have preferred maintaining relationships over "breed ALL the women". Part of why I was caught so off-guard by the Mania and Noi situations, I reckon. Kinda hate that a character who's been with us for so long is getting shuffled off like this, but c'est la vie.
>>2664 Well... coming back to this, the only thing I can really say is it was a strange situation. Edward did in fact have a bit of a 'friendly' relationship with Sully. But, he didn't particularly 'seduce' her. He kind of asked Tharja for 'help', so to speak. That's not to say Sully would've resisted Edward's advances if he flirted with her more, but their relationship only became a more intimate when Tharja got involved and 'initiated' her, first. Meanwhile, Tharja has only really met Mania off screen and has expressed sort of uneasiness about her. Mania's relationship with Edward developed entirely with them both finding each other, despite their differences. Similarly, his relationship with Noi started almost immediately with her giving him the chance for sex. She expected something casual, 'something just for the sake she could say she did it.' Edward made it a lot more intimate and 'special' for her. Showed he cared for her. And those moments kept piling up as much as she could be around him, too. At any rate, I am glad to hear this feedback. I can understand too how characters introduced early-story before the plot really got rolling hold a special nostalgic place, too. I'll keep this in mind. ...And also that some might not like Hex Maniac or muscle girls. I do keep in mind the audience's own kinks, when sex scenes come up. (The girls' have their own kinks too, like anyone, and going over previous scenes it'd probably be easy to write a list, but whether Edward plays to them is optional and sex scenes should always be for the sake of delivering the sex to the audience.) Also, I intend to get back to Impregnated Princess/Witch very soon. That is not forgotten, for those who enjoy it.
Apologies. "Witch of Fecundity".
>>2666 Fair cop on the seduction vs initiation bit, it's been awhile. Once we hit the end of the Tharja route and get the "behind the scenes" thread, I'd love to pick your brain about how you decide who gets to be a love interest and who doesn't, assuming it wouldn't cause issues for New Game +.
>>2666 Apparently, I'm in the minority when it comes to Hex Maniac and muscle girls. But I don't mind too much because I know it's the nature of the beast when you CYOA by committee, both in who you pick to include and who the group picks to be with. I've gotten enough time with characters I like, and the overall plot makes up for any minor shortcomings in who we spend time with.
>>2671 You're not alone. I'm not crazy about Hex either, and at best I'm neutral on muscle girls.
I am going to leave the current vote up longer and not close it tonight. Please continue to vote. I hope people are excited about the "balance of power" concept.
>>2710 It's certainly intriguing! That's actually another reason for my write-in. Not sure we need to give the military even more power in the council.
I've had some thoughts on the latest vote that I figured I'd share here rather than muddying the voting in the main thread. Specifically, on option 6 and why I'm concerned about it, and how I think the perceived benefits of that plan can be attained without following it. To start with, Tharja on the council as a shadow witch rep. My own misgivings about providing witches as a group more power in Ruhemania aside, I don't think that this is the only shot at bringing Tharja in on this role. We could bring her to other council meetings, keep encouraging her to speak up. Heck, we could even spin a rejection into an invitation. Have a private conversation with her later, apologize for not being able to use her idea, but point out that she very well could slyly represent the witches on the council- this proposal in particular didn't work out, but having someone who can first-hand discuss the needs of the coven could still be useful. Next, Oana. I said before, I'll say it again: I think she needs a public execution. She needs to pay for her crimes, which any option does resolve, but the public part is necessary to send the message that while we are a fair and good king, we do have limits. Dissuade any future conspirators. As for why not give Oana to Erika and execute Margaret instead: one of these women is of noble blood (or aristocratic or whatever- point is her family held a title in the past) if not of noble title, led the attempt to remove Ed from power, and publicly claimed responsibility for the poisoning. The other... is a maid who did actually poison us and has denied Oana's involvement in that. The execution of Oana is going to hold WAY more weight than an execution of Margaret. Which leads me to... A gift for Erika. Again, putting aside my own thoughts that we may want to reconsider giving someone to Erika (we have no idea how she'll respond or what sort of precedent that might set for her, so I want to have more discussion on that before anything's nailed down), are we sure about Oana being the best choice? Beyond the bit above about Oana being the better option for a public execution, let's consider the two candidates here. Oana's an elderly woman, while Margaret is in the prime of her life, obviously fertile, probably in better shape from having led a more active life as a maid before their imprisonment. If we're going to give a person as a gift to Erika, Margaret's the better candidate. This draws a bit on metaknowledge from the Witch game, but since Margaret will have delivered a child by that point, it even creates the possibility for Tharja and Erika to bond over working on her as a project- Tharja has always been interested in having Ed's kids, and if memory serves was using what fertility magic/potions she could find before meeting Beatrice. She might stand to benefit more from Margaret as research material too. Finally, in case it comes up: I don't think it would be wise to give Erika both women. An old woman is granted reprieve from execution only to die in captivity a few months later. Unfortunate, but understandable. A young woman who's been imprisoned for months dies in childbirth. Tragic, but that's reality. Both of those happening at once? That could raise a few eyebrows, and I don't know what conclusions some of the (quite intelligent) members of our council might draw from that. Best to execute at least one of them and give at most one to Erika. Aristo, please point out if I've misremembered something or made an incorrect leap of logic here. Lord knows I do that a lot.
>>2792 The only thing I could really add is that Tharja may be invited to council meetings, but they would need to be ones where it makes sense for her to be there. Even more so for her to speak, or else Edward won't have any of her positions to approve. Moreover, they'd have to be connected to what the witches want rather than what Tharja wants. Here what Tharja wants is specifically tied to the witch's desires instead of her personal appraisal. Having Tharja there to discuss how the conspiracy ringleader against Edward should be punished, especially when she held off punishing her while regent, made sense. Allowing her to speak made sense, but Edward could have easily told her to just observe. That's going to be a lot different than arguing over the budget. Even if Tharja's there and allowed to speak, the witches aren't likely to care about what Edward does with the budget, so she won't become a representative of the faction. Or possibly maybe they would, but Tharja wouldn't expect to be there until invited. So, all the witches may not have time to brainstorm and tell her their wants. We can't be sure until it happens. The story goes in unpredictable ways, and the current situation was the perfect storm to introduce a 'guest' right away. And even the possibility she'll become a faction leader, and of what. As to why it's being presented right now as a one-time thing, consider this explanation. By acquiescing to Tharja's proposal in the current vote, Edward is telling the Council "My wife still has some authority, even though she is no longer Regent. My power is tied to her." Ie, Tharja has Edward's ear and could possibly interfere with any policy. For the six months Edward was gone, she had that authority in Edward's name. Now, Edward has taken it back. She had no say in whether all the portraits would be removed when it was brought up in the first council, and even if she were there to argue for it, the witches probably wouldn't have cared. In this current vote, if he goes with her proposal, he's saying "She still has a little bit of my power I gave her in the regency." --Hence why the decision made in Tharja's favor will affect the Council's opinion about Monarch Authority and whether the Council feels it will be listened to. Imagine you try to persuade your boss of something, only for your boss's wife to say "That doesn't sound like the best idea." You now realize you have to persuade two of them. This can be a very good thing or a very bad thing. I've done my best to show the consequences of each choice as Edward would understand them, as well as what the other characters as advisors tell him about each one, as they understand them. That all said, this is an explanation for clarity. Not that the choice for Tharja is the best. They all have their own pros and cons and your own take is very valid. As are all of them. I look forward to seeing how the needle falls. I hope it's enjoyable.